When we accept the Lord Jesus into our hearts by faith and repent of our sins, He promises complete forgiveness for all our past sins. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Christ’s blood is sufficient to wipe away every sin from our record in heaven. “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God” (Romans 3:25).
Now some people teach that when a person receives the Lord by faith, Jesus forgives all that person’s future sins. This teaching is called “once saved always saved.” The Bible does not support this teaching. The scriptures clearly show that people are created with the freedom of choice to accept God’s love or reject it at any time. While God invites all to receive salvation (Isaiah 45:22), it is up to people to accept His call (Revelation 22:17). Our relationship with God depends on the choices we make. “…choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served … or the gods of the Amorites” (Joshua 24:15).
The apostle Paul shows that any person that chooses to sin willfully will not be forgiven. “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins” (Hebrews 10:26). This is not just talking about a single act of sin, it is pointing out the attitude which may prevail when a person repeatedly continues to sin the same sin when they know better. This is deliberate, persistent, defiant sin. It is a considered reversal of the former decision to accept salvation in Christ and leads to the unpardonable sin (Matt. 12:31, 32). Thus we see that one can lose their salvation if they choose to.
Our salvation depends on our connection to God. “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me… If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned” (John 15:4,6).
As long as we maintain our daily connection to the Lord through the study of His word, prayer and witnessing, the Lord promises: “…I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” (John 10:28).
Check out our Bible Answers page for more information on a variety of topics.
In His service,